Re: active vs. passive voice

Subject: Re: active vs. passive voice
From: Ned Bedinger <doc -at- edwordsmith -dot- com>
To: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2008 20:04:34 -0700

Combs, Richard wrote:
> Ned Bedinger wrote:
>> If I set up a display(n) of my wares at the Saturday flea
>> market, I can also say (and be generally understood) that my
>> wares are displayed(v,i) at the flea market. This usage and
>> construction sounds right to my ear, and is just too commonly
>> encountered to be a big dumb mistake made with a transitive
>> verb. English (the living language) seems to allow it.
> Actually, it's _correct_ usage of a transitive verb. In the phrase "my
> wares are displayed," the actor is omitted (passive voice) and "my
> wares" is the _object_ of the action.
> R.S.V.P. c/o
> Richard


Alas and alack, I must note with regret, and in uncommon haste, that the
time is now gone (along with my lawn), when I saw myself set to
undermine the transitive bulwark (and it grows further yet).

With the moon and such stars! growing brighter still, I don't really
find this such a bitter pill. Like good wine that has gone off in taste,
it's just as well, considering my haste.

May I ask a small favor? Please pass this along: Words can speak for
themselves, they've a life of their own. Just leave them speak, or leave
them to the bard, lest you too reach escape velocity when hoist with
your own petard.

Having fun,

Ned "I can see my house from here!"


Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

RE: active vs. passive voice: From: Combs, Richard

Previous by Author: Re: active vs. passive voice
Next by Author: Re: Hurdles
Previous by Thread: RE: active vs. passive voice
Next by Thread: Re: active vs. passive voice

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads